Submitted by: Elżbieta Awramiuk
Abstract: An adequate use of sound means of language is one of the important factors of a successful communication: the awareness of the phonetic and graphic correspondence helps in reading and writing at the first level of education, serves to better understand different kinds of texts (especially literary texts) at later stages, and helps in speaking at all levels (National Early Literacy Panel, 2008). The orthoepic competence, which includes among others the knowledge of the conventions used for the representation of pronunciation – is also developed as a component of linguistic competence (CEFR: 117-118). Phonetic transcription is concerned with how the sounds used in spoken language are represented in written form (Heselwood, 2013). In specialized sources, phonetic transcription is a conventionalised notation system; in non-specialist sources, the methods of sound form signalization (SFS) are less conventionalized, but they have important educational functions.

The purpose of this study is to present the results of the comparative analysis of several L1 Polish and Czech textbooks to answer the following questions:
1) When (in which teaching situations) and for what purposes SFS is used?
2) Which speech features are signalised and what is their function?
3) How is pronunciation signalised?

Two series (each consists of 3 textbooks) of Polish textbooks from the second stage of primary schools (grades 4-6, age 10-13) and two series of Czech textbooks for the same age range were analysed. Qualitative analysis focuses on searching for places where orthographic representation changes to fulfil the needs of SFS and where the sound form of language represents the point of didactic interest, shows the function of SFS and its means, as well as compares the results obtained in both countries.

The research is still underway, but we can already report some partial conclusions based on general recognition and on our actual and previous research (Awramiuk, 2018; Vlčková & Štěpáník, 2017). The SFS serves for developing phonetic awareness and is used to alert the orthographic form, as well as provide pronunciation of words (not only in L1). Unconventional ways of SFS are inconsistent, omitting important speech signals, and may lead in many cases to incorrect pronunciation. The attention to sound qualities of speech is paid separately, without connection to other layers of language as morphology, syntax or stylistics.

Keywords: primary school, textbook analysis, sound form signalization, Polish, Czech


Awramiuk, Elżbieta. 2018. Fonetyka w podręcznikach do nauki języka ojczystego [Phonetics in L1 textbooks]. In Elżbieta Awramiuk & Agata Rozumko (eds.), Z problematyki kształcenia językowego, vol. VII, 167-185. Białystok, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu w Białymstoku.
CEFR: Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, Council of Europe 2011.
Heselwood, B. (2013). Phonetic Transcription in Theory and Practice. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Vlčková, Jana & Štěpáník, Stanislav. 2017. Jak na zvukovou stránku ve výuce češtiny? [How to sound the Czech language?]. Český jazyk a literatura 68(2). 112–125.
National Early Literacy Panel (2008). Developing Early Literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel. Washington, D.C.: National Institute for Literacy. Retrieved from .